It took me a long time before I felt it appropriate to describe Jeremy Corbyn as an anti-Semite. I would tell people that none of us knows what goes on in another person’s heart and all we can do is judge someone on their actions.
But that is precisely the reason that I now believe there is no other possible conclusion to draw: Mr Corbyn’s actions – and his inaction over the poison of anti-Semitism within Labour’s membership – show that he has to be labelled an anti-Semite.
The evidence presented in Tom Bower’s investigation shows that the view of Jews as a race apart was with Mr Corbyn from the very start of his career, making up stories of unscrupulous, leeching Jewish employers stealing money from their workers.
As this devastating biography shows, supporting terrorists who want to murder Jews and allying with the most rancid anti-Semites in Britain has been a lifelong obsession for Mr Corbyn. And now, as Labour leader, he has surrounded himself with people who have a similar view of Jews.
Jeremy Corbyn (pictured above) has ‘surrounded himself with people who have similar views of Jews’
Dame Margaret Hodge (pictured above) called Mr Corbyn an anti-Semite to his face last summer
Famously, Labour grandee Dame Margaret Hodge called Mr Corbyn an anti-Semite to his face last summer after he refused to implement the internationally recognised definition of anti-Semitism, over which he eventually backed down.
As she put it to him: ‘It is not what you say but what you do, and by your actions you have shown you are an anti-Semitic racist.’
Mr Corbyn presides over a party that deliberately refuses to act seriously to remove anti-Semites.
Last Monday, Jennie Formby, Labour’s general secretary, published figures showing that since April 2018, 673 allegations had been investigated. And even though the party found that 146 members’ actions merited a warning, just 12 were expelled.
Mr Corbyn has repeatedly promised zero tolerance of anti-Semitism, but even on the party’s own figures, that is clearly a lie. The numbers show that the party is happy to let those whose behaviour has been anti-Semitic remain as members. And a number of Labour MPs say that those figures are themselves a lie, and do not represent the full scale of the problem.
Take the chairman of Liverpool Wavertree Labour Party, Alex Scott-Samuel. The MP for the constituency is Luciana Berger, who has been the subject of death threats and abuse because she is Jewish. People have been sent to prison for such actions, so you would think that the chairman of her party would be a bulwark of support for a young Jewish woman MP who is widely admired. But Dr Scott-Samuel spends his time trying to drive her out.
A fortnight ago he co-sponsored a vote of no confidence in her. And when he is not doing that, he is spouting conspiracy theories about the Rothschilds – a classic anti-Semitic theme – on internet shows hosted by a blatant and unambiguous anti-Semite, Ritchie Allen.
Luciana Berger (pictured above) has been the subject of death threats and abuse because she is Jewish
You have to rub your eyes in disbelief when you remember that Dr Scott-Samuel is chairman of a local Labour Party, rather than the BNP. This behaviour and these views have frightening consequences far beyond the cesspit of Corbyn’s Labour.
Earlier this month, the Community Security Trust (CST) – the body which collates anti-Semitism statistics with the police – published its figures for 2018. They showed a 16 per cent increase in the number of anti-Semitic incidents on the previous year, to a record 1,652.
That figure alone should be shocking. There are still people alive who survived the Holocaust, which showed where such bigotry can lead.
But the numbers are the least shocking part of the picture.
What is truly spine-chilling is the analysis published alongside the CST’s figures.
According to its chief executive, David Delew, the rise in UK anti-Semitism to record levels is down to ‘the deliberate excluding of Jews from anti-racist norms’ and ‘anti-Semitic politics’.
David Delew (pictured above) said the rise in UK anti-Semitism to record levels is down to ‘the deliberate excluding of Jews from anti-racist norms’
You do not need to be an expert in euphemisms to understand to what – and to whom – that phrase is referring.
It means Jeremy Corbyn.
As editor of the Jewish Chronicle, I spend far too much time dealing with anti-Semitism. But inured as I am to most of it, even I sometimes have to take a breath, draw back and contemplate how astonishing it is that the leader of one of our two main parties is an anti-Semite, and that a party which defines itself as progressive and anti-racist is now so institutionally anti-Semitic that, as the CST shows, it is fuelling the oldest hatred.
Look at social media or turn up at many local Labour meetings and you will see the foul truth about Corbyn’s Labour.
As the no-confidence motion against Luciana Berger shows, when you speak out against the hatred of Jews, you are then targeted by the party.
As a Jew, I obviously have particular reason to be frightened by what this means if Labour takes power under its current leadership. But this isn’t just about Jews – it is an indication of the true malignancy that underpins Corbyn’s Labour, of which we should all be frightened.